Blog in pink circle

Community micro-enterprises launch in Kent

29 November 2022 · Categories: Communities Care

A community micro-enterprise leader is sat on a sofa next to an older man. They are both smiling and looking at a photograph album together. We are now 7 months into our community micro-enterprise project in Kent. We have been working with amazing local people who want to develop small enterprises which offer care or support to other local people. We have already been blown away by lots of brilliant things happening in the county and are excited to be working with a variety of community micro-enterprises who we’ve supported to get set up….

Connie at East Kent Care

Having worked in the care industry for some time, Connie saw that a lot of older and disabled people in East Kent needed a bit of extra help, not just with things like support to get washed and dressed, but also support to live their lives in the way they want, following their own choices, hobbies and interests.

I have been working in the care industry, particularly domiciliary care for over 4 years and noticed that there is no capacity within current care that is offered for a bespoke care service designed around the individual. Working in care is not just a career for me or something I do for financial reasons; I feel it is what I was meant to do and I can’t think of anything I would rather be doing. I get such a lot of pleasure helping people and I could see there was a gap in the care market that desperately needed filling.

Connie – East Kent Care

With the support of Community Catalysts and the community micro-enterprise project, Connie set up East Kent Care with the mission of enabling people to draw on care and support whilst staying in the comfort and familiarity of their own homes.

It was so lucky that I was put in touch with the Community Catalysts team at this time. I knew exactly what I wanted and what my goals were. However, it was all very daunting and I wasn’t sure which steps to take. Community Catalysts simplified the whole process and supported me every step of the way. No question was ever too silly and this really helped to bring my confidence out.

Connie – East Kent Care

Both Connie and the people she supports have been able to benefit from more choice and control over their lives. Connie has been able to create meaningful connections with the people she supports and find employment close to home that fits around her own life.

[Community Catalysts] really showed me what you can achieve with the right people supporting you. From day one and up until now they are only a phone call away. I would recommend this programme to anyone who is also looking to start their very own enterprise. 

Connie – East Kent Care

Naomi AKA Mrs Organiser

Naomi has a natural flair for organising. She has a deep understanding of how our surroundings and environment can affect how we feel, behave, act and think. Naomi has had a diverse career in construction, financial services and the NHS – mostly project management roles. Combining her workplace skills and her passion for improving peoples’ wellbeing by organising and decluttering – Mrs Organiser was born – a professional organising and decluttering service.

My offer is about helping people to take back control of their environments to improve their health and wellbeing. A cluttered home can be a cause of isolation and fewer connections. Something I have seen numerous times when people have become embarrassed by their homes and stop allowing other people to visit. Clutter also increases the risk of trips and falls. Often simple things like reorganising a room and utilising storage space could minimise this risk.

Naomi – Mrs Organiser

It is so important that people have a choice of person-centred, high quality and flexible local care and support options. Utilising her passions, skills and enthusiasm, Naomi supports people to get a better life, free from the chaos of clutter and is able to work for herself, generating her own income.

We always like to support before a crisis – prevention is better than cure – but my offer is there in times of crisis too. We fully appreciate that for some people going through this process, it will be difficult and at times emotional. Patience and empathy are guaranteed and we work together with people to go at a pace suitable to them.

Naomi – Mrs Organiser

Mick at Shedkwick CIC

Shedkwick CIC are an all-inclusive group based in Ashford, Kent who are working to improve peoples’ mental health through connecting with others, gardening and woodwork. They were keen to engage with the community micro-enterprise programme and wanted to be able to diversify their offer so that they could safely support everyone in their projects.

Encouraging like-minded people to come together and socialise, Shedkwick CIC was born with the aim of connecting people through gardening and woodwork. Community Catalysts have become our window to the world. Without their ongoing advice and support we would struggle to continue. Thanks to [Community Catalysts’] help we have been able to develop our internet profile amongst so many other things and look forward to continuing our journey.

Mick – Shedkwick CIC

Mick has used his passion and skills to create an opportunity for people to come together, be more involved in their local community and develop new skills. Having visited Shedkwick CIC at their site, it is truly inspirational to see people connecting and supporting each other with a variety of gardening and woodwork projects in an inclusive and safe space.

Jill at Embark 21 CIC

Jill has been involved in charity work with a focus around mental health for many years and was increasingly aware of the need for more choice and more support for people in her local area. She is now delighted to be running Embark 21 CIC in West Kent which supports adults experiencing challenges with their mental health.

Our funded groups give you the opportunity to make friends and share experiences with people who understand what you are going through. We offer confidential, self-help support in a very caring, non-judgemental and healthy environment. Groups are run by a qualified mental health wellbeing Group Facilitator plus a volunteer. We also have occasional speakers on wellbeing topics.

Jill – Embark 21 CIC

Alongside life coaching and group workshops, Jill offers creative opportunities such as wellbeing walks, craft sessions and gardening activities.

Sue at Arts without Boundaries

Arts without Boundaries supports people to participate in and enjoy music, poetry, art and nature. Sue is passionate about inclusion, breaking down barriers and supporting people to have a good life.

At Arts without Boundaries, we know how important it is to spend time with friendly and supportive people, creating something unique and special together, like music or poetry. We also know that for some people it can be more difficult to join in because of all sorts of barriers – we aim to break down these barriers so that everyone can take part.

Sue – Arts without Boundaries

Using her passion and skills, Sue has worked together with her members to learn and develop inclusive ways of creating and performing music which in turn supports people to have fun and make new connections – we are really looking forward to attending the Arts without Boundaries Christmas event and listening to their band play!

We really appreciate all the different ideas and talents that people bring to our groups. We all learn from each other about new ways of being creative and of bringing out peoples’ skills – that is what makes us so special!

Sue – Arts without Boundaries

Elaine at Lainey’s Care Farm

Based on an 11-acre site in Frittenden, Kent, Laineys Care Farm offers support to adults with learning disabilities.

Members are encouraged to get involved in all areas of farm life; from feeding the animals, to mucking out, to fencing and building animal shelters – if it needs doing, we do it! Alongside animal care, we offer horticulture, woodwork, arts and crafts and photography, with the emphasis on fun and confidence building, whilst working together as part of a team.

Elaine – Lainey’s Care Farm

Elaine is keen to expand her offer and has lots of great ideas and plans on the horizon!

As the local Catalyst I visited the farm and really enjoyed seeing how much fun everyone was having. There were lots of opportunities to socialise and get involved in different activities. The enthusiasm of the members was just so great to see!

Nicole – Community Enterprise Catalyst

A community micro-enterprise leader is helping a younger person to peel potatoes in their kitchen at home.These are just some examples of the fabulous things happening in Kent – keep your eyes peeled for updates and more new community-micro enterprises in our next blog!

By Amy Harris – Community Enterprise Catalyst (Ashford and Canterbury) and Nicole Monahan – Community Enterprise Catalyst (West Kent)

Email –

You might be interested in our other recent blogs:

Back to news